2014 Mazda6 i-Eloop to net 40 mpg hwy, 28 mpg cityFri, 05 Jul 2013 13:31:00 EST
Even before Mazda unveiled the 2014 Mazda6, it had introduced its innovative, non-hybrid i-Eloop (Intelligent Energy Loop) brake regeneration system. This technology converts kinetic energy into usable electricity using the alternator, a DC/DC converter and a capacitor mounted just behind the front fascia. During deceleration, the alternator captures energy that is then stored in the capacitor, which can later be used to directly power electric devices like climate control and audio systems. When i-Eloop power is used, it reduces the load on the engine and helps to conserve fuel.
Now available on the Mazda6, i-Eloop is only available on the $29,695 Grand Touring trim level as a part of the $2,080 GT Technology Package, meaning that buyers desiring i-Eloop will have to spend at least $31,775 (not including destination). The added price of this technology should be worth it for those looking for optimal fuel economy as the i-Eloop, combined with the package's active grille shutters, will bump the sedan's fuel economy numbers up to 28 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway – both are improvements of 2 mpg over the standard Mazda6 Grand Touring. The GT Technology Package also includes a Sport mode, lane departure warning, high beam control, radar cruise control and forward obstruction warning – the latter two technologies are currently offered in a $900 package that is being discontinued.
i-Eloop will eventually be offered on other Mazda products including the 2014 Mazda3. Scroll down for the official press release on the Mazda6's fuel-saving i-Eloop technology.
MAZDA ANNOUNCES PRICING, FUEL ECONOMY OF i-ELOOP-EQUIPPED 2014 MAZDA6
-Midsize Sedan is First Mazda to Feature Capacitor-Based Brake Energy Regeneration System-
Jul 5, 2013
IRVINE, Calif., July 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has announced updated pricing of its all-new 2014 Mazda6 midsize sedan, now featuring the ground-breaking regenerative engine braking system known as i-ELOOP. When coupled with SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY, the brand's fuel-efficient and performance-oriented engineering philosophy, the Mazda6 will achieve best-in-class fuel economy amongst competing gasoline-powered vehicles with an EPA-rated 28 city/40 highway/32 combined mpg. When not i-ELOOP-equipped, the 2014 Mazda6 still achieves class-leading highway fuel economy at 38 mpg.
"Mazda is again changing the game of automotive engineering, this time making fuel efficiency not seem as a compromise but a true complementary feature as part of the complete vehicle package," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. "With the addition of i-ELOOP, the 2014 Mazda6 will achieve the best mileage for a non-hybrid midsize sedan. But fuel economy isn't the sole focus of our engineering and design teams, as being a leader in dynamics, design and safety create a win-win for the company and consumers."
With its name derived from "Intelligent Energy Loop," i-ELOOP is a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system that converts a vehicle's kinetic energy into electricity as the car decelerates. The electricity captured is then stored for later use to power all the vehicle's electrical components, such as headlights, climate control and audio systems. This reduces the need for the engine to burn extra fuel in order to generate electricity and, therefore, improves fuel economy without sacrificing driving performance. In order to efficiently recapture the kinetic energy and convert it into electricity, i-ELOOP utilizes a 12- to 25-volt variable voltage alternator, a DC/DC converter and a low-resistance, high-capacity electric double layer capacitor (EDLC).
Conventional alternators are constantly charging the battery in an effort to keep up with a vehicle's electrical loads, which means using engine power to operate the alternator, which, in turn, consumes fuel. With the i-ELOOP system in operation, the alternator is free-wheeling, creating almost no parasitic drag on the engine, which reduces the amount of fuel used. Upon vehicle deceleration, the engine and alternator continue to spin as the vehicle slows down, working off of the vehicle's inertia. To take advantage of this free energy, i-ELOOP's special variable-voltage alternator kicks in and generates short bursts of electricity that is stored within the capacitor. The capacitor then meters power out into a smooth, continuous flow to satisfy energy loads.
While the increased engine braking caused by the hard-charging alternator is too small for drivers to feel, the smooth power delivery coming from the capacitor means the electrical systems do not operate differently with i-ELOOP. Exact fuel savings will vary based on electrical load and individual driving habits.
On sale now, the 2014 Mazda6 starts at $20,990 MSRP and is available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Featuring a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine as standard equipment, Mazda6 vehicles offer 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. Sport ($22,695 MSRP) and Touring ($23,645 MSRP) models are available with either a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency when paired with the manual transmission for non-i-ELOOP cars is rated by the EPA at 25 city/37 highway/29 combined mpg and increases to 26 city/38 highway/30 combined mpg with the automatic.
A mid-year add-on, the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission is now available on the Touring trim. The SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission adds $1,050 to $24,695 MSRP, but equipment and features remain the same for all Touring models, including offering new vehicle features such as a Commander Switch for the 5.8-inch display screen and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). The all-new Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system will continue to be available as part of the Touring Technology Package ($2,000 MSRP).
Available on Grand Touring models ($29,695 MSRP), i-ELOOP will be part of the new GT Technology Package ($2,080 MSRP) which features additional vehicle equipment such as a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), High Beam Control (HBC), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Sport mode button and active grille shutters. The stand-alone MRCC/FOW Package, which includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), is still available for Grand Touring models but will be phased out in the coming months.
Earning a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), standard safety features for all 2014 Mazda6 models include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), hill launch assist, a fold-away brake pedal assembly, a trunk entrapment release system, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
Touring models feature a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) as standard equipment with the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system available as part of an optional package. Grand Touring models feature BSM, RCTA, SCBS and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) as standard equipment. Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and High Beam Control (HBC) are available as part of an optional package.
For more information on fuel economy and how estimates are determined, visit www.fueleconomy.gov, a joint website venture between the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
By Jeffrey N. Ross
See also: Mazda3 sedan revealed by Top Gear Russia [w/poll], First 2014 Mazda3 ad appears, Next Mazdaspeed3 could look this good.